Review: Five Guys, Kirkstall, Leeds

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So what’s all the fuss about this new (ish) burger place? Five Guys. Are there really five guys behind it? I suppose that at some point down the line, there must have been to get a name like that. It sounds faintly Goodfellas, by which I mean the Marin Scorcese film, as opposed to the pizza.

And (the elephant in the room) they also do milkshakes... with bacon in.

Little Oliver..Five Guys, Kirkstall Retail Park, Leeds..24th May 2016 ..Picture by Simon Hulme

Little Oliver..Five Guys, Kirkstall Retail Park, Leeds..24th May 2016 ..Picture by Simon Hulme

Anyway, my other half was dying to try it and so we walked along Leeds Liverpool Canal with the kids in tow.

When I first walked into Five Guys my heart sank a little and my brain suggested this could be the pinnacle of style over substance. The walls were a mix of shiny red and white tiles, spotlessly clean steel counters and uncomfortable looking wooden chairs. It all looked a bit like a factory canteen, I half expected to see staff wearing hair/beard nets and rubber gloves. Maybe we would be issued with some and set to work by an angry shift manager.

Turns out I was wrong. The cleanliness, the open space and the high ceilings began to grow on me and the wooden chairs weren’t that uncomfortable after all.

Framed articles decorate the walls with pull-out quotes, saying things like “it’s the real deal” and “their burgers are boss” and the slightly vague “their food is really good”.

Forget the sad squashed things from other burger takeaways, this was the kind of burger you might expect to be handed by Gerard Butler at a men-with-beards and Sparta-uniforms-only barbecue. It was huge.

And so to the food, which ended up being a bacon cheeseburger for me (pricey at £8.75), the same for the missus and hot dogs for the little ones. This being a burger joint, that’s pretty much all there is, however - except for the toppings, which are in abundance and also free.

I went for grilled mushrooms, fried onions, pickles, mayo, tomato and cheese, although I could have had much more.

When the burger came it was absolutely massive. Forget the sad squashed things from other burger takeaways, this was the kind of burger you might expect to be handed by Gerard Butler at a men-with-beards and Sparta-uniforms-only barbecue. It was huge and consisted of two burgers, bacon, cheese and the rest.

The hotdogs were smoky, well seasoned and substanital.

It’s a bit on the pricey side - a sharing bag of chips (by which I mean proper chips, like the kind your mum used to make) set us back £5 and refillable drinks were £2.50 each.

And so to the milkshakes (£4.75), bizarrely with the option to add bacon (yup, an actual piece of bacon, all whizzed up into tiny crunchy pieces). I tried one before and after the porcine supplement. Before was a thick, gooey indulgent joy, whereas after tasted like they’d emptied the bottom of the grill pan into it. Not my cup of tea but each to their own.

Rating: ***

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